The RPS Bargain Bucket: Extra Choices

And again and again and again. It seems like as time goes on, each weekend there are more and more discounted games for you to use your brain’s purchase appraisal node to consider. Don’t you worry though, as always I’ve rounded up the best ones into one place to help you spend less time looking for games at a good price, and more time playing them. And it this isn’t enough, the constantly updated record of the best deals on games on all platforms over at is just a click away.

Batman: Arkham City [Goatee Edition] – £4/€5.99/$5.99
Apply coupon “GMG20-PJFEW-Y16HK”. Registers on Steam.
That frustrating point where it’s cheaper to rebuy a game with all the DLC bundled with it than it is to just buy the DLC. I wonder what publishers thinking is by not offering a discounted upgrade option for their earlier adopters when they rerelease games bundled with DLC, it seems to me that it would be a win:win all round. This is a game with Batman in it, and it’s rather good. It’s less focussed than the first game, and there’s a couple of shonky sections, but overall it’s a fitting follow up to the best Batman game yet.

Ground Control – £1.51/€1.78/$2.39
Ground Control 2: Special Edition – £1.51/€1.78/$2.39
Large scale groundbreaking RTS series, that Jim did a retrospective of ages ago when it was being given away for free for some reason. It’s no longer free, but these words are still true:

it was a game that genuinely used terrain in making futuristic warfare interesting to navigate. It wasn’t just about about channeling you towards objectives (although it did do that) it was also about delivering tactical advantage (or disadvantage) as you played. The game’s second mission taught you that a frontal assault on an enemy base was going to be possible, but slow. Against a timed objective, with your limited resources, you’d enter deep water rather quickly. You soon learned to think laterally: driving up to over-looking hills and pounding fortified positions from above was always a better option to start the game. Hit them hard, then come back for the kill.

More here.

Zafehouse: Diaries – £4.99/€5.99/$7.48
Here’s wot Rab thunked about this Zombie survival strategy game thing.

It’s mainly about the relationships between the characters. The game is so simple (essentially a choose-your-own-adventure with some extra choices and a lick of strategy) that you really need this added dynamic of character tension. If your characters hate each other, they won’t work well together. They might even get violent with each other. And seriously, making this bunch of arseholes get along is probably your biggest challenge in the game.

Sounds a little like Zombie FTL with a focus on relationships to me. More from Rab here.

Hotline Miami – £3.49/€4.24/$4.99
What is there left to say about the best game of last year? How about this: playing Hotline Miami has made me no more or less likely to grab any improvised weapon I can find and go on a hyper-violent killing spree through a warehouse full of armed thugs. However, after playing Hotline Miami, if I were to decide to got on a hyper-violent killing spree, I suspect I would be a far more effective killer. The phenomenal soundtrack has also just had a release via Steam, although I highly recommend you don’t fall asleep listening to it, you’ll probably wake up in a place you don’t recognise, with your hands covered in blood.

Deal of the week
Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast, Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn, Baldur’s Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, Icewind Dale, Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter, Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster, Icewind Dale II, Neverwinter Nights Complete, Neverwinter Nights 2 Complete, Planescape: Torment & The Temple of Elemental Evil – £7.11/€8.35/$11.24
Well that was a bit of a mouthful. This is a collection of two collections. One collection with all the Neverwinter Nights games, and one collection with all the other D&D games that are included in this collection. These two collections are also available to buy separately, at a slightly lesser discount, here & here. If you’re thinking about Planescaping for the first time, why not hit up Alec’s guide to making it look extra pretty on modern monitors.

Also of note:
THQ Mega Pack – £15.82/€18.56/$24.99
The Darkness 2 – £4.74/€5.56/$7.49
Deus Ex Collection – £7.49/€10.49/$11.24
I Am Alive – £4.41/€5.09/$5.09
Sword of the Stars: Complete Collection – £2.99/€3.99/$3.99. Apply coupon “GMG20-PJFEW-Y16HK”.
Sword of the Stars II: Enhanced Edition – £3/€4/$4. Apply coupon “GMG20-PJFEW-Y16HK”. Registers on Steam.
The Oil Blue – Pay What You Want is always kept up to date with the best deals on games across all platforms.


  1. dE says:

    Has SOTS2 been patched enough for it to be playable, yet?
    I remember one of my buddies got the game, a really serene casual guy, but that game made him rage harder than a 1/10 metacritic lunatic. Made me stay clear. But then again, it’s that company that made it and the first one needed many patches too.
    So what’s the verdict on the latest most up to date version of it?

    • Low Life says:

      The game seems to be in fairly good shape now: link to

      • wu wei says:

        You got that from the same review you linked to?

        Ok. But, is it worth it in the end?

        No. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it in the end. I mean, to endure the pain of learning how to play this game to finally start to have a few glimpses of fun from time to time. But, to ultimately realize that (at the moment) it doesn’t mean much in the end because the AI isn’t much of a challenge in any case.

        The author still believes you’re better off going for the original game instead.

        • yamenadk says:

          Andr oid Tablet PC ViviPad 7-inch capacitive screen!Now only $ 66.99! This is the best! Best buy on the web! Such price! You can find a cheaper, more good tablet? link to

    • caddyB says:

      It’s alright. It doesn’t crash and burn, the graphics are very pretty but the AI is a bit dumb. And they had to switch to Steam from Gamespy so multiplayer is a bit finicky, but I hear it works well.

      Right now they are patching the AI and optimizing the turn times. More than worth $4, if only to look at the pretty spaceships shooting at each other.

      To be honest, while it’s only $4. If you like space 4x and can afford it, you don’t stand to lose a lot.

    • Azhrarn says:

      Graphically it’s impressive, the AI needs work, and after the first dozen turns the game takes ages on turns, especially with 7 AI players. ^_^ They’re optimizing that though.
      The tech-tree is expansive, ship design is reasonably intuitive. The mission system for fleets takes getting used to, as it’s very different from games like Master of Orion.
      Diplomacy is essentially non-existent, it works on a basic level, but complex stuff doesn’t.

      The races are quite diverse, although they’ll share the majority of the tech-tree. Each species can use certain techs better than other though.

      Everyone has a unique mode of faster than light travel, with vast differences in play-style depending on what race you’re playing.

    • Valerius Maximus says:

      It works. Shame it’s a terrible game though.
      They pretty much got rid of everything that made the first game good and filled the gaps with needless logistics and menus.
      Things like the missions system, prototype system and new tech tree are fundamentally flawed so the whole game design is just plain terrible. Don’t tell them that on the forums though, they will just tell you that you are playing it wrong.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Well, if you’re discounting or outright ignoring all the new menus and logistics, doesn’t it seem likely you really are playing it wrong?

        • timmyvos says:

          Sure, if they actually worked. As it stands it is basically needless “realism” in a 4X game where literal flying dolphins are some of the most powerful beings in existence, doesn’t make a lot of sense if you ask me.

    • Askeladd says:

      I can only scream from the bottom of my soul: DO NOT BUY THIS GAME!!!!!!*

      *I bought on launch. I tried it in several patch intervals. I bled. I hate them for delivering such a game. I have 28 hours played. Only played about 5h after the ‘last patches’. This game alone got patched more then all games in my steam folder together. It’s design is flawed -> their take on improved strategy are limited fleets with horrendous UI design – also very long turn times on longer games (all games are long or VERY long).

      I can say more about this piece of pain, but I’ll not.
      I’m going to cry now.

      Just go buy the first SotS.

    • Samolety says:

      Just a note – SotS 2 is $4.00 off, down from $20.00 to $16.00 with that voucher, not just $4.00. I was willing to give it a run for $4.00, too. Oh well.

  2. Mccy_McFlinn says:

    Sorry to nit-pick but it’s Swords of the Stars II that registers on Steam. Swords of the Stars uses Capsule (GreenMan Gaming’s client).

  3. MuscleHorse says:

    Before you run off to buy the Hotline Miami soundtrack, remember that a) the files are already in your game folder as ogg files, which many media programs can play and b) they’re also on Spotify!

  4. Low Life says:

    At this point, who gets the money if I buy a THQ game, such as the bundle offered by Amazon?

    • trjp says:

      An analysis of where your money goes when you buy ANY game is complicated – the fact THQ are in administration and probably being broken-up only makes it a bit more complicated.

      If you thought that buying a game from a flourishing publisher meant your money going straight to the developer tho – you’re naive and foolish ;)

      I suggest you don’t worry yourself about that question UNLESS you’re willing to engage in some major-level understanding of business and finance and contracts and commissions and percentages and other things which even the people involved probably don’t fully understand!!

      • caddyB says:

        Maybe he’s just asking if part of the money will go to feed the families of developers who are laid off or now working under another publisher or not.

        That is to say, probably not.

        • trjp says:

          If you want to extend your understanding of inter-business financials to what happens when businesses ago into administration, that will take even longer.

          I can probably bottle-it-up by saying that staff aren’t high on any creditor list

          Furthermore, I get the impression that a lot of studios which are wholly owned by publishers (as I believe was the case with at least some of THQ’s studios) simply pay wages – no-one is paid on sales numbers apart from the odd bonus for competing the game on-time or passing certain sales numbers perhaps!?

          We’re just further into the “you’ll never know and it’s probably not worth asking” territory tho…

        • trjp says:

          p.s. it may be worth looking at the recent sit-ins which HMV’s Irish staff undertook.

          They wanted their wages, holiday way, time-owed paid and they knew (as it was almost certain the Irish Stores wouldn’t be re-opening) that they weren’t going to get them.

          So they sat-in and made a noise and were quietly paid-off – almost certainly money they’d never have seen otherwise.

          The way businesses behave when in administration often borders on outright theft – take the situation with gift vouchers, for example. A gift voucher is a product you purchase just like any other, but the moment a business goes into admin. they stop accepting them – which is like the product you bought from them last week ceasing to work – it’s more than a bit cheeky but they can and do get away with that (it’s dishonest and should really be illegal).

          As someone who’s been made redundant twice (and narrowly avoided it several other times) – and as someone who’s helped people attempt to reclaim wages in dozens of situations – I can tell you that when your employer throws-in-the-hat, you are not on their mind and you will probably get next-to-nowt…

        • Shuck says:

          If the developer is no longer working for the studio that made the game, they’re never getting any money from it. The game industry doesn’t have any sort of residual/royalty system, unlike film/television/commercials/etc. Best case scenario, the developers are getting some sort of profit sharing/bonuses tied to sales and dependent on still working at the company. But that depends on the publisher deal. Mostly the studio isn’t getting anything off the sale itself. Usually it works like this: the publisher fronts the development money to the studio; once sales have paid back that development money (plus hefty profits) to the publisher, then the development studio might see some money from the sales. Usually that doesn’t happen, however, as it’s a rare game that’s profitable enough for that. Some of the money that goes to studios may (or may not) go to some individual developers. More likely is the studio will have burned through the publisher money while developing the game, forcing them to lay off most of the work force just as the game is being released. Those developers are lucky to get severance pay. Developers for publisher owned studios get a salary, and if they’re really lucky, bonuses tied to particularly good sales.
          TL;DR: Money paid for games almost never goes to the development studio, much less the developers. It does, however, help keep publishers afloat, allowing them to fund more games.

      • Low Life says:

        I was mainly wondering if the money would go to the publishers who acquired all the rights to those franchises or to THQ (and the creditors).

        • trjp says:

          You’d need to see the agreements which are being negotiated or which have been agreed – generally that sort of info isn’t available tho

          It’s entirely possible that ‘existing stock’ (whether that be boxes or codes or whatever) isn’t part of any restructuring/administration or is being handled separately – it’s not unusual to sell stock to distributors/retailers completely either in the course of business or when money is tight or whatever.

          Generally speaking, thinking that buying a game = giving money to a developer is a naive idea. It works with small indies and small self-publishing studios, of course, but the vast majority of the market doesn’t work like that at all.

          Sales figures only matter for the first couple of weeks after release, really – after that it’s ‘gravy’ for someone – most likely not the developers themselves. See also Hollywood and the need to put bums-on-seats in the first weekend.

          p.s. I’d say probably 80% of people working in ‘making games’ are salaried – e.g. they’re just paid to show-up and work, they get nothing (other than perhaps the odd bonus/party/t shirt) from actual sales of their game (other than ensuring they might get to make another one, perhaps).

      • RodHope says:

        “I don’t know” would have sufficed.

        • trjp says:

          It’s not so much “I don’t know” and “it’s impossible to know and why would you care’ I think.

          It’s not quite the banking market when it comes to obscuring the source of your income – but it’s still arcane beyond any sensible measure – this is what always happens when the suits turn-up, see also the mess which is being made out of Google atm.

          • The Random One says:

            So what you are saying is that the most proper reply would be that Something Awful forum gif with a floating ghost and the caption “it is a mystery”

        • realitysconcierge says:


  5. Suits says:

    Speaking of Warface, hasn’t it gone in open beta just now?

  6. TechnicalBen says:

    A better deal, Ground Control is IIRC already freely available from the publisher.

    link to
    The link then takes you to Fileplanet where they got the full game as a release from the publisher. I forget why (Freegaming site from the 1990s tht died out springs to mind).

    Similar to how you can already get DN3D and GTA1 for free.

    • Bioptic says:

      The GOG version does have the expansion and proper manuals though, and plays nicely with Windows 7 (although the free version may also do so!).

      So many elements of it show their age, but the fact that this still has plenty to offer demonstrates the relative lack of variety in RTSs lately! I’m personally waiting for a re-release of Warhammer: Dark Omen, which essentially used an earlier version of the Total War system focused on smaller units with greater variety, hero units and a narrative drive to all of the battles.

    • boundless08 says:


      It worked fine for me when I had Vista I haven’t tried it with 7 but I presume it would work on the newer OS’s since it worked on their retarded precursor.

  7. mbp says:

    If you are worried about compatibility issues with the D&D pack I just bought it and installed Baldurs Gate on Win 7 64. Ran first time with no issues in full screen mode. The games do use Gamestop’s Impulse client but I wouldn’t let that put you off. Impulse is quite pleasant to use.

    • Bisyss says:

      Do mods work for the D&D pack? I played PS:T after stuffing it with various add-ons and I’d like to do the same for Baldur’s Gate.

      • manitoo says:

        Seconding this. $12 is an incredible deal for all these games, but it might be worth holding off for the next GOG sale if the Impulse versions don’t play nice with mods. Plus it’s hard to beat GOG’s painless installation process.

      • Naum says:

        I can happily report that Baldur’s Gate works — disclaimer: on my system, after a bit of fiddling with the UAC — with the mods that GOG recommends. So, at least there don’t seem to be any general anti-mod measures in this version.

        The GameStop App thing is also surprisingly good. Not more than a glorified downloader and as such still of little use, but it doesn’t get in the way and seems to be well-behaved. It’s also possible to uninstall the application as soon as the games are on your disk with no consequences whatsoever.

        • souroldlemon says:

          drm worries me because i like to own the stuff i pay for. I’m semi-ok with steam, partly because they say that if they go bust they’ll kill the drm. Not sure about gamestop though, unless you can reinstall games without revalidating online.

          • jrodman says:

            Your decisions and so on are obviously your own to make, but there is no particular reason to believe Valve about freeing the software if they go bust. That’s the precise time that they’re likely to have such business decisions removed from them.

            Now if it was explicitly in a contract with buyers with specific terms, you could believe it meant something, but vague promises from businesses with no contract are always worth precisely nothing.

  8. Craymen Edge says:

    I bought DmC for £15.99 from here: link to

    • Falcon says:

      That seems like a pretty good deal. I’m not a huge fan of giving a random store my phone number, though. Their privacy policy says they won’t sell it to anyone. Anybody else used this reseller?

      • Craymen Edge says:

        It’s used by sites selling pre-paid console marketplace cards before. I’ve done that once or twice and not had any problems.

        The best I can say is I couldn’t find any negative feedback for this place online, I got my DmC key within a couple of minutes, and it worked.

        • Falcon says:

          Yeah, they seem legit. Apparently they buy boxed copies from Russia and Eastern Europe then remove the Steam keys from the box and scan them in to their system. I’m not entirely sure how Valve feels about all of that, but Paypal is doing a security audit and decided they wanted to verify my address and since I only have a mobile phone and not a landline, they have to snail mail me a verification code. Oh well. =P

  9. Revisor says:

    Origin has a first reasonable sale in history. Only for some countries (EMEA minus UK and DE?). So not so reasonable.
    link to

    I picked up Kingdoms of Amalur and Game of Thrones (the RPG) for 5 Euro each.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      On that note: Is FIFA 12 worth it? I kinda want a foot-to-ball game for some reason but I’m not sure which is the best choice.

      • ShineyBlueShoes says:

        FIFA 12 is perfectly fine still other than you’ll have out of date rosters if you don’t manage them yourself or find an updated one online. I lack the courage to get my face handed to me online so can’t say how alive that is but I’m perfectly happy in sticking with it as this years FIFA wasn’t a massive upgrade.

    • D4t4v4mP says:

      Does the Game of Thrones RPG register on Steam?

    • PsychoWedge says:

      Well, for me and my German IP everything costs 10 Euros. But they advertise it as the big “Everything for 10€ or less”-sale so I don’t know. There are actually only three games that cost less. Two for 8 bucks and one for 7 bucks.

  10. MrBillwulf says:

    There’s a goatee edition of Arkham City? Is that the one where everyone, including Catwoman and Harley Quinn, has a goatee?

    • PsychoWedge says:

      They do. On their chins, too!

    • ShineyBlueShoes says:

      THAT would be amazingly hot. Sir, I think you’ve just birthed a whole new disturbing world of con cosplay.

  11. Sander Bos says:

    Hitman: Absolution is only 16.99 euros on Steam right now. I think I will just take a chance on it for that price, it does seem to look extremely pretty.